This is not our usual blog article!
Carrie Story is a Metal Clay Artist, Instructor, Contributing Artist, Metal Clay Today Challenger and now the owner of Clay Revolution!
When she told me about her new adventure, I suggested she share why she is so excited about this product. I must say, I think her enthusiasm is contagious. I think you’ll enjoy. – Tes
Prometheus Clay has been popular around the globe but has somehow never hit the mainstream in the United States. I was fortunate enough to try out a bit of copper and bronze and could not have been more excited. This stuff works great!
Why am I so excited? I hate the carbon mess and time involved. This clay does not require carbon, so it can be torched (yes, torch fired bronze!) or fired in a kiln on a very short schedule. It is the perfect option for beginners, cost conscious projects and impatient people like me.
Prometheus Copper and Bronze.
The consistency is slightly spongier than the current local brands. Workability is long and does not seem to get as hot when you roll and kneed it. Wet joins are easily achieved by squishing the clay together. Dry joins are easy with a homemade oil paste. You can purchase premade copper and bronze syringe, making joins even easier. Drying time is long.
Firing, wow, I can’t even describe how great the options are. But I’ll try.
Torch firing – quarter size pieces torch fired with no problems. Place them on a fire brick. Get them as hot as you can as quickly as you can. Bring up to a cherry red color and hold for seven minutes. Quench before it cools down. This will remove most of the fire scale.
Kiln firing – For pieces larger than a quarter or thicker than 1/4″, you may want to fire in a kiln. Place the piece on a fiber blanket or steel mesh for best results. Preheat the kiln to 1500ᵒF for copper and 1700ᵒF for bronze. Open the door and place the blanket or mesh with the piece inside. Close the door immediately. Let the kiln heat back up to the target temperature, then fire for 30 minutes. Open the door remove the piece with tongs and quench immediately to remove the fire scale. Yes, it is that easy.
I still recommend pieces larger than a ping-pong ball be fired in activated carbon to achieve proper sintering.
Since we haven’t used the clay much in the United States, we really don’t have multitudes of test results yet. I will continue to compile information on this, but to start here are a few working tips:
Test your piece after firing to make sure it is sintered properly. Tap it with a little piece of metal. If it “tinks” it’s finished. If it “thunks” refire it. If you don’t test it and start polishing, you risk removing all of the detail you worked so hard to put on. A quick test will prevent a big disappointment.
Heating this brand of bronze tends to bring out the copper color. So the best bronze colors will be achieved with carbon. Even just laying some carbon next to the piece in the kiln will help. However, polishing with fine grits has resulted in the goldish color coming back. As with all bronze, you can never predict exactly what color it will turn out. That’s part of the fun!
The clay is a little drier than most others when it comes out of the package. Rehydrate it with a few squirts of water before you start working. This clay holds the water very well and works perfectly once conditioned.
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